Growing Broccoli from Seeds
Growing Broccoli from Seeds
Growing Broccoli from Seeds:
Broccoli is a slow grower, start you seeds indoors, roughly six weeks before the final frost of the season. Use a nutrient rich soil and plant seeds ½ an inch deep in your planters.
How to transplant your broccoli seedlings:
Most seedlings are fine to be transplanted after growing 2 or 3 inches. With broccoli you want to wait until the seedlings are a good 5 or 6 inches tall before you move them. You want your broccoli to be hardy. Make sure there will not be another frost. Broccoli is easy to grow, but easier to kill.
Seedlings should be planted a good 3 inches deep, and each plant should have a at least 12 if not 18 inches between it and other plants. Broccoli does like to stretch out, so by giving it this kind of space you can allow it to do so and thrive.
How to care for broccoli seedlings:
Broccoli does not need a lot of care. Be sure your broccoli gets 6 hours of sunlight a day and is in moist soil. Never let the soil dry out.
Pests may be a problem, so be sure to keep an eye out for bugs such as aphids. When you see them, remove the pest as well as any damaged portion of the plants. Some also like to put collars around the stem of their broccoli plants to keep pests from eating and climbing on them. You can create your own collar out of paper or cardboard tubes if you wish.
Fertilizing your broccoli is not necessary. Should you still want to, a basic garden fertilizer will do the trick.
General tips for producing a good broccoli crop:
Aside from the tips above, not knowing when to harvest the broccoli is the biggest mistake first time growers make. The broccoli you are growing fresh in your garden may not look like the stems of broccoli you buy at the store. Knowing this is important, as it can keep you from allowing your broccoli to overgrow.
Growing Broccoli in Containers
You can grow broccoli in a container garden, but it is a heavy feeder, so it needs more space and nutrient dense soil than other vegetables of similar size. It also only produces 2 crops, the main head and then the side shoots, so you don’t get as much produce for your space as you would from lettuce or kale. Plant your seeds or start a seedling in the centre of a 3 gallon pot, follow the growing instructions above. When growing broccoli in a container, you will want to extend its growing season by moving the pot to a shaded area once it becomes hot outside. This will help ensure you are able to harvest the second crop of side shoots.
When and how to harvest broccoli:
The average head of broccoli is the size of an adult fist. Do not wait for the head to grow any larger than that as it will not taste the same. It will instead be bitter and dull. Do not wait for the broccoli head to flower or produce small white bumps. Instead, simply cut it at the stem when it is the size of a fist and bright green.
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